Entries Tagged as 'Education'

Obama Cuts School Funds For Security

“…two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren’t renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, the administration eliminated funding in 2011-12 for a separate Education Department program that gave money to schools to prepare for mass tragedies, the officials said.

“…key programs that provided money directly to schools in the aftermath of Columbine have been phased out as of 2012, the last after the 2011 budget year.

You guessed it. This news was released on Friday, about a Senate that hasn’t passed a budget in four years.

Thoughts About College

I wonder what today’s high school kids think of the value of a college education.  We know the prevailing paradigm says college graduates make more than just high school graduates, and the post-college degreed make more than just college grads.  However many have those pesky student loans to pay off.

Watching both political conventions, I was forced to remember, that like many speakers, I too was the first of my family to get a college education. I graduated in 1968 with a BS degree in Political Science from Portland State University. I was a good student in high school, accepted at Willamette University and almost flunked out.  Looking back on those two years, I don’t think I was ready for the responsibility of running my own life away from home.

The Vietnam War was gearing up in late1964, early 1965. I was worried the draft could take me even though I was married, so I joined the Army Reserves and spent the first six months of 1967 on active duty at Ft. Lewis and Ft. Ord. When I came back, I had a new sense of purpose and was ready to finish my education.

On my bus this morning I had a student who spent part of her summer in Haiti.  She’s thinking about skipping college for a year and working with the Haitian poor. She wants to follow her parents into medicine.  Another student this morning said she signed up for online PE.  I asked her in jest what kind of exercise could she do online. Basically, she said, you work out an exercise schedule conducted from home and her parents have to sign off that she did it.

See that’s what great about the internet.  We now can get a Distance Learning Degree.  We don’t have to attend classes.  We don’t have to be in this country.  We can be anywhere in the world and I’ll bet we’d get a better education if we could get our degree while touring the Amalfi Coast of Italy, or exploring Paris, or walking the Camino de Santiago or nursing the sick in Haiti.

If I had it to do over and this technology for online college degrees existed then, I would have learned Spanish online and in country, explored the history of Politics on line from Rome and learned economics on line while using currencies of the European countries. I would have the first of my family to travel outside this country and get a college degree.

Some Prices Have Reached The Parabolic!

Many of us have been writing about the skyrocketing cost of a college education. Some have even said you’d be further ahead to go to work instead of college. The following chart is stunning! And look at Medicaid. That trend just can’t keep up this way or it will be bankrupt.


Beyond Diversity

Well that was an interesting day! All the First Student drivers and staff were required to attend a meeting today at 9:30 and again tomorrow. We did not know the topic(s) of the meetings until we arrived. As we signed in we were handed a packet of 77 pages titled Portland Public Schools presents “Beyond Diversity – An Introduction to Courageous Conversation & A Foundation for Deinstitutionalizing Racism & Eliminating Racial Achievement Disparities.” Kehaulani Minzghor was the Faciliator.

School administrators know they have a problem. No matter the income level, Black and Latino students underperform their White and Asian peers in the same income strata. Why? Is it Economics (poverty), Family support, Language or Mobility? Kehaulani pointed out that those four reasons may seem like the answer(s), but she demolished all four reasons. Something else is going on that is causing our Black and Latino students to fail.

Kehaulani showed us a graph of end of Kindergarten evaluation. All four races were equally prepared for first grade. Then evaluation was done at the end of the third grade and the study found that while all students slipped some, Black and Latino students dropped close to 50%. What happened?

My immediate thought was teachers, but I believe we are being led to answer “systemic and institutional” racism. The literature says “Anti-Racism is…Our conscious and deliberate, individual and collective action that challenges the impact and perpetuation of systemic/institutional White racial privilege, positioning and power.”

One page in the packet drew some fire from the audience. It’s titled “Do we have the will to educate all children? A Salute to Dr. Asa G. Hilliard. Wikipedia says of Dr. Hilliard:

In 1981, Hilliard introduced the concept of “Baseline Essays” (short stories “of the experience of a particular geo-cultural group within a particular academic area from earliest times to the present” to the Portland, Oregon school district. This resulted in a collection of essays advocating Afrocentrism…

While Hilliard presented to PPS, the recommendations, as I understand, have never been implemented. Hilliard said: “The knowledge and skills to educate all children already exist. Because we have lived in a historically oppressive society, educational issues tend to be framed as technical issues, which denies their political origin and meaning…” He also believed that whites attempt to keep Black history away from Blacks and for just themselves. The effect is that Blacks are unaware of their history.

I immediately asked, “Who is this “we”, you are talking about? “All of us,” was the answer. The White people didn’t feel oppressed. Blacks did, was my impression. Kehaulani said Whites were oppressed that’s why we left Europe and came here. Then we set up our documents that only gave Liberty and Equality to men with property. So every one, excluding men, were still oppressed. Gradually, more people have Liberty and Freedom.

There have been some frank conversations among the drivers who are a diverse lot. That’s been great!

I agree there is a problem. Too many Blacks and Latinos are underachieving. They are not dumber than Whites or Asians. They don’t have parents that care less about education than White and Asian parents. Kehaulani said at one time there was a big disparity in the math skills between males and females. The educators found that females were treated differently than males. When they changed the teaching methods, females improved so much that now girls outperform boys in math.

That’s what this conference is all about, I assume. How do we boost the performance of Black and Latino kids? I assume their answer is racism. My answer might be the teaching methods.

On Closing Humboldt and Harriet Tubman

The Portland Public School board voted last night to close Humboldt and Harriet Tubman schools to save $27 million per year.  Can two schools possibly cost $27 million a year to run? I guess if 200 teachers including staff worked at the two schools and were paid an average of $50,000 a year it could cost $10 million. Benefits could add another $10 million, leaving $7 million for capital improvements. However, that still seems high for two schools.

Do you have any input?

Strong Words About Student Loans

Suze Orman’s STUDENT DEBT Warning “Think Twice” Indeed, it makes no sense.

Schools Advocate Need For Violence

BigGovernment.com from Andrew Breitbart has a video of a professor and a self-proclaimed communist union official jointly giving a class on Violent Union Tactics.  The schools, the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), were conducting the joint class and are public institutions funded by tax payers.

In the class, the Professors not only advocate the occasional need for violence and industrial sabotage, they outline specific tactics that can be used. As one of our colleagues pointed out, its the matter-of-factness of it all that is so disturbing.

What is your son or daughter learning in college that you may be paying for?  Does the college undermine your beliefs?

First Wisconsin, Next Michigan?

The Detroit News reports this about Detroit Public Schools.

State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that balances the district’s books by closing half of its schools, swelling high school class sizes to 60 students and consolidating operations.

There’s one key paragraph in the story that echos Wisconsin:

Last week, state Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, proposed a bill that would give the emergency financial manager the power to cancel government or teacher union contracts. Detroit Public Schools spends nearly two-thirds of its budget on personnel costs, or $677 million a year.

The days of affordable government are over!

When Is “The Cartel” Coming To Portland


5 Ways To Tackle The Gold Market

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The MarketClub Team

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